Coconut Curry Lentil Stew Recipe

Coconut Curry Lentil Stew

Serves 8 to 10

Protein-rich lentils need no soaking. This makes them a convenient option for a satisfying, deeply flavored, meatless stew. Make a batch for a crowd or freeze some to eat later.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 full lime leaves, (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, pounded and tied (See Cook’s Tips)
  • 1 pound brown lentils, (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 4 sprigs cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat coconut oil in large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, curry paste, and chili flakes. Stir to combine. Add tomatoes with their juice. Stir. Add lime leaves and lemongrass.
  3. Add lentils, salt, and 3 1/2 cups water. Stir. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until lentils are soft. Stir occasionally.
  4. Just before serving, remove lemongrass stalk and lime leaves. Stir in coconut milk. Add additional seasoning, to taste.
  5. To serve, ladle into warm bowls and top with cilantro.
  6. Cook’s Tips:
  7. Lime leaves are available near the packaged fresh herbs. A full lime leaf has two attached parts. It is stewed into liquid to impart a fragrant and complex lime flavor.
  8. Use the bottom of a skillet against a cutting board to smash the thick end of the lemongrass stalk. The bruising will help extract maximum flavor. Longer stalks can be tied into a knot to better fit in your pot.
  9. Adding the coconut milk at the end keeps it from overheating and separating, resulting in a creamy finish with a stronger coconut aroma.


Amount Per Serving (based on 10 servings)
Calories: 280
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 10 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 520 mg
Carbohydrates: 33 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 5 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 14 g
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Ratings and Reviews

“I like to use red lentils for this dish. either way, it's a keeper!”
“Made this healthy-ish vegetarian soup and we all liked it; i substituted red curry paste for the curry powder and it was delish! even better the second day!”
“Curry, coconut milk make this delicious!”

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